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Physical action is an essential part of faith without which faith is not sound

 

Praise
be to Allah

What is
indicated by the Qur’an and Sunnah, and the righteous early generations are
agreed upon this, is that faith consists of both words and deeds, and may
increase and decrease; there is no faith unless it is accompanied by
actions, just as there is no faith unless it is accompanied by words. So
faith is not valid unless both are present together. This is an issue that
is known to Ahl as-Sunnah. As for the view that action is something required
for the perfection of faith, this is the view of the Ash‘aris and others
like them; it is well-known that the view of the Ash‘aris with regard to
faith (eemaan) is one of the ideas of the Murji’ah.

Ash-Shaafa‘i
(may Allah have mercy on him) said: The consensus of the Sahaabah and
Taabi‘een, and those who came after them, and our contemporaries, is that
faith consists of words, deeds and intentions, and none of the three is
valid except with the others.

End quote from
Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah by al-Laalkaa’i (5/956); Majmoo‘
al-Fataawa
(7/209).

Al-Aajurri (may
Allah have mercy on him) said:

You should
understand – may Allah have mercy on us and you – that the view of the
Muslim scholars is that faith is obligatory for all people, and it consists
of belief in the heart, affirmation on the tongue, and physical actions
(righteous deeds).

Moreover, you
should understand that having knowledge and belief in the heart is not
sufficient unless it is accompanied by verbal affirmation of faith, and
knowledge in the heart and verbal affirmation are not valid unless they are
accompanied by physical action (righteous deeds). Once a person combines
these three characteristics, then he is a believer. This is indicated by the
Qur’an and Sunnah, and the views of the Muslim scholars.

End quote from
ash-Sharee‘ah (2/116).

Shaykh al-Islam
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Based on this issue, we may
conclude two things, the first of which has to do with visible disbelief and
the second has to do with hidden disbelief.

As for the
second (the issue of hidden disbelief), that is based on the view that faith
consists of both words and deeds, as stated above. It is not possible for a
man who believes firmly and strongly in his heart that Allah has enjoined
upon him prayer, zakaah, fasting and Hajj, to live all his life without
prostrating once to Allah, or fasting Ramadan, or giving zakaah for the sake
of Allah, or going on pilgrimage to His House. That is not possible, and
this cannot happen unless the person harbours hypocrisy and heresy in his
heart. It does not happen when there is sound faith.

End quote from
Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (7/616).

Imam Muhammad
ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allah have mercy on him) said: There is no
difference of opinion among the ummah that Tawheed must exist in the heart,
which is knowledge; and on the tongue, which is words (verbal affirmation);
and in one’s actions, which is acting in accordance with the commands and
prohibitions. If a person does not fulfil one of these three, then he is not
a Muslim.

If he affirms
Tawheed but does not act in accordance with it, then he is a stubborn
disbeliever, like Pharaoh and Iblees. If he acts outwardly in accordance
with Tawheed, but does not believe in it in his heart, then he is a pure
hypocrite, worse than a disbeliever. And Allah knows best.

End quote from
ad-Durar as-Saniyyah fi’l-Ajwibah an-Najdiyyah (2/124).

He also said:
You should understand – may Allah have mercy on you – that the validity of
religious commitment depends on what is in the heart of belief, love and
hate, and it depends on a person uttering (the word of Islam, the Shahaadah)
and refraining from uttering words of disbelief, and it depends on physical
deeds, by putting the pillars of Islam into action, and refraining from
deeds that render one a disbeliever. If one of these three is missing, then
the person becomes a disbeliever and an apostate.

End quote from
ad-Durar as-Saniyyah (10/87).

The scholars of
Ahl as-Sunnah discussed this issue at length, including the fatwas issued by
the Standing Committee that warn against some books which reiterate the view
that physical actions (righteous deeds) are a precondition for the
perfection of faith (and not an essential part thereof). The Committee has
stated that that is the view of the Murji’ah. See: Fataawa al-Lajnah
ad-Daa’imah
(2/127-139, vol. 3).

According to Ahl
as-Sunnah, physical action is an essential part of faith, without which
faith is not valid, and a lack of physical action is indicative of a lack of
faith in the heart, because they are strongly interconnected. Whoever thinks
that there could be strong and sound faith without that leading to physical
action (righteous deeds), even though he knows about his religious duties
and is able to do them, is thinking that something impossible is possible,
and is denying the connection between physical action and what is in the
heart, and is following the blameworthy view of the Murji’ah.

And Allah knows
best.